UP3: Management of moorland

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the management of moorland option.

How much will be paid

£43 per hectare (ha).

How long this option lasts

This option runs for 10 years not the standard five years for the scheme.

Where to use this option

Available for Higher Tier

Whole or part parcel

Only on parcels:

  • above the Moorland Line
  • that cross the Moorland Line
  • that contribute to a single grazing unit above the Moorland Line
  • that contain one or more moorland priority habitats or species
  • above the stock-proof boundary of enclosed in-bye land that contain semi-natural moorland habitat vegetation, eg allotments, intakes or newtakes

Features that can be included in this option

The following features can be included if they are part of the land, even if they are ineligible for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS):

  • bracken
  • ditches
  • dykes
  • scrub including gorse bushes and briar
  • scree, rock, outcrops or boulders
  • streams less than 4m wide and that take up less than 1ha of the parcel
  • ponds less than 1 ha of the parcel
  • unsurfaced roads, tracks and paths

How this option will benefit the environment

It will:

  • maintain and restore moorland priority habitats and ecosystem function
  • maintain and restore species
  • protect historic features
  • strengthen landscape character

If successful there will be:

  • improved condition of moorland habitats and associated species
  • enhanced soil management
  • reduced diffuse pollution
  • improvements to water quality and flood risk management
  • historic environmental features with no bare soil or poaching (trampling)
  • stabilized and permanently re-vegetated areas that were previously eroded
  • historic features unaffected by trees, bracken and scrub
  • no animal burrows developing on historic features


Agreement holders are likely to need to:

  • only graze the land in accordance with the stocking calendar
  • stick to the minimum and maximum stocking rates for each month and for different types of grazing animal
  • manage vegetation by burning or cutting, using agreed practices
  • prevent spread of bracken or scrub on historic or archaeological sites
  • carry out a wildfire risk assessment

The agreement will set out what must not be done. It is likely agreement holders will not be allowed to:

  • plough, harrow or roll
  • cultivate or re-seed
  • apply any fertilisers, manures or lime
  • apply supplementary feed other than as prescribed
  • use pesticides other than as prescribed

Keeping records

A valid Wildfire Risk Assessment and a Wildfire Response Plan (agreed with fire service) will be needed. For guidance and example plans see the Forestry Commission’s guide. Copies of the Wildfire Risk Assessment and, where required, the Wildfire Response Plan and Wildfire Management Plan will need to be submitted with the first claim.

Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them on request:

  • records of all management activity on the option area for each parcel
  • receipted invoices, consents or permissions connected with the work
  • a monthly record of stock numbers by parcel and stock type

On your annual claim you will be asked to declare that you haven’t carried out any activities prohibited by the option requirements.

You should also be aware that at the start of each claim year, a percentage of agreement holders will be asked to take and submit the following photographic records:

  • photographs of the extent of scrub and bracken on historic and archaeological features

Applicants will have to send the following with their application:

  • a stocking calendar approved by Natural England
  • photographs of the extent of scrub and bracken on any historic and archaeological features on the site
  • a map of the land drainage system
  • a map of permitted access routes

The detailed requirements for this supplement will be tailored to the Higher Tier site. Applicants should discuss and agree these requirements with their adviser.

The following options and supplements can be located on the same area as this option:

Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this option

The following section gives advice on carrying out this option successfully but does not form part of the requirements for this option.

Contact organisations early

Contact Natural England or other relevant organisations well before making an application.

Further information

Read about the regulations on burning heather and grass.

See the Higher Tier manual to find out more about the scheme and how to apply.

Published 2 April 2015
Last updated 10 March 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated for 2017 applications.
  2. Updated information for applications in 2016.
  3. First published.